Have you always wanted to do something meaningful? Are you longing to lead a life that will really make you feel truly fulfilled? Want to build your business, or make a real change in the world? Do you know deep inside what you really wish for, and yet sense that something is holding you back? Here are seven lessons I've learned from the first year of being a solo entrepreneur.
1.There will never be the perfect moment for it
You will never be earning enough money to give you complete financial security. You will never be qualified or knowledgeable enough to start your own thing or make that next step. You will never have just the right level of support. Even if you pay thousands of pounds to your coach, counsellor, business advisor etc, they won't do the job for you - you will still have to take the risk and do YOUR part of the work. Your 100%. There'll be no one to blame apart from yourself if you fail. But tomorrow will never be better than today, unless you start doing something today. One day pain of not changing will become bigger than the pain of changing, and you will have to make this step.
2.You will sabotage yourself every day, and will still make progress
Most of us know exactly what kind of life they'd love to live, but there are always voices that are holding us back. Once you step on the path of change, these voices get loud. Really loud. Every day you'll be asking yourself whether you're doing the right thing, and who are you to do what you do. After every mistake you'll make (and be sure you'll make every possible mistake you can make) they'll be telling you that you're a failure and shouldn't have ever tried. You may discover that you're not returning important calls and ignoring life-changing messages. You may discover you're spending hours sitting pointlessly online. It's part of the game, and don't believe anyone who says they never had self-doubt or never sabotaged themselves. Learn to deal with it (or get a coach to help you overcome it, it's all manageable).
3.You will run out of money much faster than you think
Yes, it will happen, and likely not only once. You will constantly need to be thinking about ways to refill your wallet, and it will make you very distracted from focusing on your business. You will have to learn to juggle your insecurity and your business growth. That's the only way.
4.You won't figure out how things work. It will stop bothering you though.
You will try doing a thousand things, and will fail a thousand times, and all of a sudden some of these things will work (and most will never work). You probably will never understand why, but with experience you will stop trying to understand it and focus on what works. Remember the old game of hot and cold, when an object was hidden and if you were getting close to it, your playmate said "hot"? You'll learn to get into your "hot" spot without rationalizing why it's hot.
5.You'll be constantly torn between feeling very happy and extremely unsatisfied
Every night will consist of thinking of everything you could and should have done today for your business, and beating up yourself for the fact that you didn't. And yet, you'll be very happy for everything you've managed to do, if you did at least something, and for the lifestyle you'll be leading. At this stage, it's very important to let go of the notion that you can do everything, and remind yourself about your victories, not just failures.
6.Relationships and social life will lose its appeal
You will find yourself more willing to spend the evening on the sofa with your laptop, rather than going out or meeting new people (or developing existing relationships). Making a first sale will make you more excited than a best date. You will become an obsessed self-centered maniac who only is interested in talking to people as long as they listen to him talking about his new product. Friends on Facebook will start unfriending you because you will constantly be trying to sell something to them without even realizing that.
7.Making the future non-negotiable is the best thing you can do to support yourself
There's a reason so many entrepreneurs talk about Vision (and pay a lot of money to coaches and consultants to get one). When you are immersed in your daily routine, it's very easy to forget about the big Why - Why you are doing all that, and what would it be like to live your dream. This is what gives you energy.
Getting in touch with my imaginary future and sticking to this vision as something that's non-negotiable was by far the biggest thing that helped me stay on track and build resilience. Clients often want to talk about practical steps they can't figure out, but the moment they get connected to their Vision, they get all the steps in front of them automatically. Sticking to the vision IS the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur, figuring out the ways to get there is the easiest one.
This blog post originally appeared on Anastasia's website, www.anastasia.tips.